The rivulet was an important source of drinking water for the Mouheneener Aborigines, and later for the first European settlers. The site for Hobart was originally chosen in part due to the availability of fresh water from the rivulet. Because of the pure water of the upper portion of the rivulet, the Cascade Brewery was built beside it. There were several typhoid epidemics during the late 19th century due to poor water quality further downstream. It was also an important source of energy for early industry in Hobart.
The lower portion of the rivulet has been piped through the city and runs below the central city area. Regular tours of the rivulet take place under the CBD. The sandstone Wellington Bridge (1841) over the rivulet lies under the Elizabeth Street Mall, and is visible through a viewing portal there.