Have you ever been told not to go swimming at the beach after a heavy rainfall? Did you ever wonder why? Like many older cities, New York City has a combined sewer system. That just means that dirty water from buildings is collected in the same network of pipes as stormwater from the street and rooftops. Jump in to find out about what’s gross about NYC’s current system, and what you can do about it.

This educational video was produced by CUP with animation by Justin Cassano, and music by Andy Kennedy. After the success of the Sewer in a Suitcase, CUP’s working model of New York City’s sewer system, we produced this animation to get information on combined sewers to even more classrooms and environmental organizations.

Over 200 copies of the animation have already been distributed. It had its debut at the 2012 CUP Benefit, and has since been screened at the Greenpoint Film Festival. In 2013, H2 Oh No! will be installed in the visitor’s center of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Resources and LInks

The New York City Environmental Fund was established by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Hudson River Foundation to foster active community stewardship of waterways, shorelines, parklands and open spaces in and around New York City.

Funding Support

The project is made possible through the generous support of the NYCEF Newtown Creek Fund of the Hudson River Foundation.

Special Thanks

Lisa Garrison, Kim Estes-Fradis, Kate Zidar


  • CUP
  • Project Leads
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Justin Cassano
  • Design & Animation
  • Andy Kennedy
  • Music