In order for your hydroponic system to thrive, you need to start with the right water. Your hydroponic system's water needs to have low levels of total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS is the total amount of disolved minerals, salts, and metals in water. The TDS level is measured by parts per million (ppm). In addition to low TDS levels, your water should also be slightly acidic to neutral in its potential hydrogen (pH) level. Starting with the right water makes it much easier to make adjustments after adding nutrients.
The best way to remove contaminants and TDS from your water source is through a process called reverse osmosis, commonly known as "RO." Reverse osmosis is a process by which water is pressurized through a semipermeable membrane, leaving unwanted minerals, contaminants, and chlorine behind. The pure product water has a low TDS level and typically has a pH level ranging from 5.0 to 6.0. You are then able to add your nutrients and adjust your pH accordingly without having to worry about effects caused by previous contaminants.