A low-cost multi-barrier drinking water system incorporating geotextile fabric for pre-filtration, silver-coated ceramic granular media (SCCGM) for filtration and disinfection, granular activated carbon (GAC) as an adsorption media and a safe storage compartment for treated water has been developed and tested. The developed system offers a novel concept of point-of-use drinking water treatment in rural and suburban areas of developing countries. The system is primarily aimed at bacterial and aesthetic improvement and has been optimised to produce >99.99% E. coli and fecal coliforms removal. Although particular emphasis was placed on the elimination of bacteria, improvement of the acceptability aspects of water was also given high priority so that users are not motivated to use more appealing but potentially unsafe sources. This paper discusses key system features and contaminant removal performance. A system using SCCGM only was also tested alongside the multi-barrier system. Strengths and weaknesses of the system are also presented. Both the developed and SCCGM-only systems consistently provided >99.99% E. coli and fecal coliforms removal at an optimum flow of 2 L/h. The developed system significantly recorded improvements of aesthetic aspects (turbidity, color, taste and odor). Average turbidity removals were 99.2% and 90.2% by the multi-barrier and SCCGM-only systems respectively.