Monitoring systems usually used to control tailings, primarily pore water pressure gages and observation wells, are not self evidently representative for mechanical considerations. Therefore an effective risk assessment and risk management is necessary to get additional information to determine indicators for critical situations. Several tailings observations showed an alteration in chemical and radiological parameters during rising saturation induced by climatic changes. These parameters are appropriate to stress indices. A systematically research on correlations between changes in stress indices and the phreatic surface is part of the research activities of the Bauhaus University in Weimar. The contribution presents the principle of this kind of monitoring, the soil mechanical background, details of the equipment and first results.