Temperatures were more seasonal in Sudbury over the weekend, but a lack of summer heat this year may bring with it improved water quality in area lakes.

The water temperature in Sudbury lakes is usually just above 20 degrees C by August, said David Pearson, an earth sciences professor at Laurentian University.

But this year, the water is sitting somewhere between 17 and 19 degrees C.

Pearson said the colder water is one reason there have been fewer reports of toxic blue green algae so far this year.

"It doesn't rule them right out," he said.

"[But] I went to look at some hot spots this morning and they are not hot spots this year, they are warm spots. They are not quite as bad as usual."


Laurentian earth sciences professor David Pearson says the water temperature in Sudbury lakes is several degress colder than usual. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Pearson said the absence of blue-green algae blooms is a good sign, but it doesn't necessarily speak to improved water quality over the long-term.

"It does not mean that the water quality is permanently better," he said 

"It just means that the algae are not doing as well because of the other two things, that influence them, that being the amount of sunlight and the warmth of the water."

The Sudbury health unit also says it has not closed any beaches this year due to high counts of the common bacteria e.coli — something that hasn't happened for at least the past five years.

In 2009, the health unit closed beaches 12 times.

But environmental health manager Burgess Hawkins said weather is just one factor for problems like e.coli.