Chromic acid losses through dragout, bath dumps, and fume scrubber blowdown result in waste treatment expense, bath replacement, and environmental liabilities. Purification of the bath can eliminate bath dumping and improve performance by removing contaminates which are detrimental to the finishing operation. Closed loop recovery of rinsewaters (tied to scrubbers) can eliminate environmental liabilities and provide considerable savings. Ion exchange techniques are especially well suited to purification and recovery of chromic acid. In particular, a system which employs short resin columns and rapid operating cycles has been developed specifically for such applications.