Ion-exchange resins are small porous beads that are either negatively or positively charged. This allows them to hold onto the ions (contaminants in water) which are attracted by the charge. They can be described as liquids (insoluble within the water) that vary in size between 0.3 to 1.5 millimeters. You can buy ion exchange resins from professional ion exchange resin manufacturers for better results.

Resin is placed inside the form of a vessel, commonly known as a column, and then submerged in water, where it forms a layer at the bottom, referred to as the bed. This bed can absorb water, and then expands when it's first immersed. Immersion is a way to condition the resin. Once the resin has been fully prepared, the beads are between 50 and 70 percent water.

The wastewater flows through the resin columns, while the bed is gently moved. The agitation allows water to flow uniformly through the beads of resin. The agitation will increase the amount of surface that is in contact with the wastewater and increases the chance that the pores are exposed to ions. Imagine the resin beads as a ball encased in holes. When the ball moves and bounces around in the wastewater the holes are visible to any particles within the water. Because of the charge when the ions come in contact with resin they'll be drawn to it and get trapped in the pores.