This research work intends to develop a thumb rule to find a suitable location for the split pipe to get the optimal solution with less effort. Furthermore, the equivalent pipe concept was applied to find the exact lengths of the split diameters. To achieve this objective, two schemes were selected: Anytown network (a literature network), and a planned and flat Central Park housing scheme in Lahore, Pakistan. Two alternatives were developed by splitting the primary and secondary pipes at different locations in both networks. The hydraulic design of all the alternatives was defined using EPANET2, United States Environmental Protection Agency public domain software. Splitting primary and secondary pipes, away from the overhead tank, gave the optimized solution. It effectively reduced by 2% and 3–4% the cost of the Anytown and Central Park networks, respectively. This alternative was also hydraulically efficient, with 58% of the nodes meeting the desirable pressure head range of 12 to 14 m for the Central Park housing scheme. The study results revealed that the split pipe method can be successfully implemented for optimization of the water distribution network (WDN). Findings of the study can be used as a thumb rule for efficient and cost effective hydraulic design with less effort and resources for medium- and large-scale WDNs.

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