The closest dive site to Indianapolis, Indiana is Blue Springs Quarry located in the quaint little town of Waldron. Back in June we experienced some atrocious flooding that wreaked havoc all over the central and southern portions of the state. Not spared was Blue Springs. The quarry flooded 10 to 20 feet over normal. Docks, roads, shelters and port-a-johns all floated away from where they belong.
Once the levels dropped the devastation was more apparent. Docks on top of shelters. Chairs and gear tables gone. Roads completely washed out.
For several weeks diving was not possible at Blue Springs and to make matters worse it was the beginning of the summer diving season and the time when winter classroom lessons were to be applied in the water by prospective OW students.
I had heard reports from divers who had visited the quarry as soon as it reopened and they were, to say the least, tepid.
So this past weekend, when invited by DiveBuddy’s MarkA and IndyBrian, I was curious as to the state of the quarry and its facilities so soon after the catastrophe.
Upon arrival at the quarry it was evident that work was being done to restore it to it’s former "glory". Several trucks full of clean gravel waiting to become new road were waiting in the parking lot. A huge crane truck was waiting on the beach to remove one of the last docks from atop its ignominious perch above a shelter and...there were divers.
We dove from the north beach. Dropping down the line visibility was noticeably inconsistent through the first thermocline. We headed to the armored truck and viz seemed to settle out at about 15 to 20 feet. Once below the thermocline at ~32 feet, however, the visibility made a marked improvement, opening up to 25 or 30 feet. This was the north end of the quarry.
On our last dive we attempted to make our way along the wall towards the "central beach". We were forced to turn back when we hit what seemed like an otherworldly, impenetrable wall. 2 inches of visibility might be generous. And that would explain why the OW class that was on the central beach that morning had called it quits.
Everything under the water line is coated in 4 inches of meringue-like silt and algae. A sign should be posted: "Do Not Wake The Silt"
In short, Blue Springs is definitely diveable. In fact, divers are what is needed there. The more divers get in and knock the silt off the attractions and rocks, the more of it will fall to the bottom where it belongs.
Recent water tests by the county health department show the water to be in exceptional shape from a health standpoint.