An urban rainfall-runoff water quality model was developed to simulate total suspend solids (TSS) using the stormwater management model (SWMM) for a 3.8 ha university campus in Beijing (approximately 76.5% impervious), and calibrated and validated against data from two observed rainfall events (221.2 and 16.6 mm rainfall). Model performance is satisfactory (Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency 0.8 and 0.72 for flow and 0.74 and 0.51 for TSS concentration, respectively). A series of sensitivity model runs were conducted using the calibrated SWMM to study the influences of rainfall characteristics (rainfall hyetographs, depths and durations) and surface flooding on the TSS concentration in outlet runoff of the catchment. The Pilgrim and Cordery rainfall distribution defines a first-quartile storm (the most severe) and results in the highest peak discharge and TSS concentration at the outlet but the lowest outlet TSS load because of the highest TSS flood loss (32.3%). The simulated TSS pollutograph resulting from the Keifer and Chu rainfall distribution (with r
= 0.5) is almost identical to that resulting from the alternating block rainfall distribution. Under the same rainfall hyetograph, simulated peak discharge and outlet TSS load are positively correlated (R2
= 0.95) to the rainfall depth as a function of the return period.
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