For $15, Crofton will soon have a brimming, placid lake to greet its visitors.
The county, in a generous mood, is going to give the community a deal on 100,000 gallons of water so officials there can figure out how to make Lake Louise lake-like.
Crofton officials want to see if it is worth the time and effort to keep the lake -- in reality, a large storm water drainage pond -- full.
"It's the first time we've ever had a request like this," said Jody Vollmar, a spokeswoman for the county Department of Utilities.
After the county pumps the water in, someone will measure the depth, the evaporation rate and the overflow characteristics on a daily basis to see how fast the level drops. The drainage pond is hooked to pipes that run under state Route 3.
Town Manager Jordan Harding recently supervised a major clean-up effort at the lake, which sits just off Route 3 near the main gates to the community. Birds have been regular visitors since the brush and trash was hauled away.
The Crofton Civic Association has been considering drilling a well near the lake to keep it full. Comptroller Barbara Swann said the community also is exploring whether to have water piped in to the lake from the nearby Patuxent Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Keeping the water level high in the lake not only will keep the birds coming back, Ms. Swann said, but it will help keep the area looking like a park.
"It really looks terrible when it is low," she said. "It looks like it has a beach around it."
Ms. Vollmar said the 100,000 gallons of water will be pumped in slowly over four or five hours from a nearby fire hydrant.
No date has been set. The Department of Utilities is waiting for Crofton to get a measuring gauge set up before proceeding.