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Septic Tank Pumping vs. RID-X

D.M. Gutierrez
Table of Contents

Pumping your septic tank is both essential and sufficient, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The manufacturers of RID-X (a biological additive) agree, but they say using RID-X can reduce the frequency of pumping.

Both pumping and RID-X can reduce solid waste in your septic system.


The EPA recommends pump-outs on a three- to five-year schedule. Pumping removes the solid waste (sludge) from the septic tank bottom, making room for waste water and incoming sludge. Products such as RID-X are unnecessary, according to the EPA.


A liquid or powder made up of “beneficial bacteria” and enzymes, RID-X is a natural additive that can help break up the solid waste (e.g., toilet paper and grease) in conventional septic systems, according to the manufacturer.


The bacteria that clean pathogens from solid and liquid wastes are naturally present in the septic system, so none need to be added, according to the EPA. RID-X claims to replace beneficial bacteria if they have been flushed out by high water use or killed with cleaning products.


Without an annual inspection, you will not know when to pump out your septic system. Use a certified, experienced pumping service. If you have an aeration system, RV, French drain or chemical toilet, do not use RID-X.

Preventive Measures

To reduce pumping or RID-X use, don’t use a garbage disposal or pour grease down the drain. Never flush trash down a toilet. Conserve water by taking brief showers and doing laundry a little at a time. Don’t use chemical cleaners for sinks, toilets, or bathtubs, since they can kill the good bacteria.