COMAL SPRINGS. The Comal Springs, the largest group of natural springs in Texas, is on the northwestern edge of New Braunfels in southeastern Comal County (at 29°41' N, 98°08' W). After filtering through the Edwards and associated limestones, the springs' artesian flow issues from several fissures along the Comal Springs fault and feeds Landa Lake and the Comal River. In earlier centuries Tonkawas and other Indians camped near the springs. The Spanish explorer Damián Massanet found a large group of Indians there when he visited the region in 1691. From 1756 to 1758 the springs were the site of a Spanish mission, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. In 1845 German settlers came to the area with Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and called the springs Las Fontanas. The springs powered grist and saw mills in the 1860s, and a hydroelectric plant for New Braunfels from 1890 to 1950 and after 1978. Both Landa Lake and the Comal River continue to be popular recreation areas. The average flow from the springs between 1892 and 1978 has been estimated at 9,000 liters a second, but that flow and the variety of plant and animal life it supports are threatened by the falling level of the Edwards aquifer.
Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981). Oscar Haas, History of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, 1844–1946 (Austin: Steck, 1968).