Abstract Stormwater pollution is linked to stream ecosystem degradation. In predicting stormwater pollution, various types of modelling techniques are adopted. The accuracy of predictions provided by these models depends on the data quality, appropriate estimation of model parameters, and the validation undertaken. It is well understood that available water quality datasets in urban areas span only relatively short time scales unlike water quantity data, which limits the applicability of the developed models in engineering and ecological assessment of urban waterways. This paper presents the application of a leave-one-out (LOO) and Monte Carlo cross validation (MCCV) procedures in a Monte Carlo framework for the validation and estimation of uncertainty associated with pollutant wash-off when models are developed using a limited dataset. It was found that the application of MCCV is likely to result in a more realistic measure of model coefficients than LOO. Most importantly, MCCV and LOO were found to be effective in model validation when dealing with a small sample size which hinders detailed model validation and can undermine the effectiveness of stormwater quality management strategies targeting ecological restoration and engineering rehabilitation of urban waterways.