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Texas Geothermal Fun Facts

  • Austin was one of the first cities in Texas to use geothermal energy for heating. In fact, even the State Capitol was originally heated by geothermal water.
      
  • Today a well in Austin supplies warm ground water (97F) for year round swimming in the outdoor pool at Stacy Park.
      
  • Waco was known as the “Geyser City” because of naturally flowing water from wells drilled into the Hosston/Trinity aquifer.
      
  • Cotulla High School, in 1977, received Department of Energy (DOE) funding to use its 109F water for heating. By doing so it saves 3.8 GW/h per year in energy.
      
  • San Antonio once had the “Hot Wells Hotel” that used the 106F well water for a spa. The ground water around San Antonio has temperatures as high as 118F.
      
  • Under the reservoir of Lake Armistad, along the Rio Grande, are geothermal springs.
      
  • Big Bend National Park has six springs that were used by the Apache and Comanche Indians. Today they are still popular with visitors.
      
  • The Marathon area of West Texas is an extension of the Arkansas Ouachita Mountains and considered the last part of the Appalachian Mountains. The deep faults suggest potential for hydrothermal resources hot enough to produce electricity using a geothermal power plant. A well drilled to 10,000 ft had 308F water.
      
  • Indian Hot Springs in Hudspeth County have been used by people for therapeutic bathing since prehistoric times.
      
  • The municipal water supply for Eden, Texas is 130F. The city is looking for companies who can use the water for economic benefit, such as fish and alligator farming or a greenhouse.
      
  • A well east of Thorndale, Texas was originally used for the production of “medicinal crystals.”
      
  • An artesian well in Brownwood, Texas, until recently, was extensively used for a large therapeutic clinic and swimming pool.
      
  • Geopressure wells in the Texas Gulf Coast are able to flow with pressure to the surface and if not controlled would shoot hundreds of feet into the air.
      
  • Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation for Crippled Children in Ottine, Texas was started because of an oil well that struck warm water. The 98.5F water was used in a hospital for polio victims starting in 1939. Today the warm water supports medical practice as an energy source, rather than treatment.
      
  • Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas uses the 120F water from a well for space heating and its hot water needs.
      
  • The hottest well recorded is 510F @ 23,800 ft (-96.86 Longitude, 28.79 Latitude) east of Victoria, Texas.

List compiled by the SMU Geothermal Laboratory, 2008. If you would like to have an item added to list, please contact Maria Richards at mrichard@smu.edu