Now that the last extended hard freezes are over for this winter past, we may still get a number of frosts, I decided to get the hydropower system up and running. I walked the water line the other day all the way to the top, and am delighted to report that for the first winter since installing the system eight(!) years ago I had zero freeze damage to the line. The amount had been diminishing every year as I was getting more knowledgeable about things, but this year there was none.
That is not to say that there was no damage to the water line over the winter. There were two breaks to the line, both caused by falling trees.
With them repaired quickly from pipe inventory I bought a long time ago in anticipation that there would be ongoing maintenance and repair, I waited for the pipe cement to harden then switched the valves and can now just barely hear the whine of the water turbine in the distant background. One of my goals for this year is to make a properly massive turbine house to muffle the sound.
Interestingly, I had not missed the hydropower electricity at all as the solar panels were providing all I needed, including four hours on the power planer the other day.